We were inspired by the health vertical of TreeHacks and researched problems within the field that could be solved using a Computer Science approach. We saw that in medical practices, ambiguity within HIPAA turned many clinics to fax machines when sharing data instead of a more modern protocol. This solution, however, does not always meet the requirements of HIPAA, with one notable case of a clinic sending patient data to NASA instead of a neighboring hospital. We decided we would build on the digitizing of the healthcare industry, an initiative incentivized during the Obama presidency, by creating a secure network that meets HIPAA standards with patient-data protections and one that encourages industry usage.

What it does

BlockFax starts by parsing medical documents with Google's Cloud Vision API and Natural Language API to record the vital information from the report; our Python code then extracts that data and writes it into a CSV file. We then

How we built it

This program consists of both Python and Javascript; the Python aspect is for data processing and management on the client-side application, and the Javascript comprises the backbone operation of the decentralized app and its network communications. We linked the APIs from Google that we used into our Python code and successfully submitted sample medical forms to test its effectiveness when processing these documents.

Challenges we ran into

We had to change the scope of our project as our initial idea was not going to be successful; in doing this, we ran out of time to complete the project. We also ran into trouble creating the BlockStack application which consumed much of our remaining time to complete the project. Finally, we struggled to commit our code onto GitHub so you could see it here.

What we learned

While we were here, we learned a lot about Machine Learning/Deep Learning development, and now we have a solid foundation for further learning in the future. We learned a lot about BlockStack's initiative for decentralizing the internet and creating blockchain apps, something we both did not fully understand coming to TreeHacks. We also learned a lot about the scope of both projects and intended to continue each's development in the future.

What's next for BlockFax

Continual development of the application for its future publishing. Reaching out to medical practices for their adoption.

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